As the Design Lead at The Coca-Cola Company, Rebecca McCowan looks after the visual identity and branding for their entire portfolio across Europe. Through her years of experience solving business problems with design, she’s discovered why slow design can be a key to creative effectiveness in the long term.

Just like fast food and fast fashion, marketing suffers from “fast design," according to Rebecca. There’s a recurring pressure to do things very quickly and to start from scratch - two elements that prevent a brand from being as efficient and effective over the long term as it could be.

Rebecca thinks the answer is slow design - which is why this is her Shiny New Object. Instead of doing rebrand after rebrand and continuing to reinvent, more brands should look to do it once and do it well.

The method looks easy: take a step back, think about where you want your brand to be in 2 to 5 years’ time, even in 10 years’ time, and start working on that today. From a design standpoint, this means building the brand slowly, without jumping into new and exciting campaigns and trends, and staying consistent.

An interesting example of how this works well is the “Coca-Cola Christmas.” After all, so much of the aesthetic of Western Christmas has been defined by Coca-Cola ads. However, Rebecca shared how the look of Santa Claus has changed over the years, among other things, and how going back to the “original” was more difficult and counterintuitive than you’d think.

Find out more about the secrets of Coca-Cola Christmas ads and hear Rebecca’s top marketing tips in the full episode.